Short stuff


leftovers & links
Wednesday, May 3, 2023 
"Do you know Jesus?" a man asked me at the bus stop.

I barely even glanced at him, only said, "F*ck off and die." 

"You don't have to be rude about it," he said.

"But I like to be rude about it," and I wanted a longer, ruder argument, but he shook his head and asked someone else about Jesus.

My anger isn't about religion. it's about privacy — I want people to stay on their side of my personal boundaries. I don't want to hear my mother's repeated questions about aspects of my life she's not invited to know. Don't want Dean's nosiness about the lazy way I make a salad. And sure as Christ, I don't want a stranger inquiring after my mortal soul.

Here and now is a crazy place and time, and it makes people crazy. The only way not to go crazy is to blind yourself to the craziness, pretend you don't see it, and lots of people do.

It's better, I think, to see the crazy, and maybe be the crazy. If you've never been mentally ill, how can you tell when you're mentally well?

By my thirties I started to notice that all the day-to-day drama that seems so important — • arguments at work • is my girlfriend the girl I want? • fuck, are we out of hot water again? • the car's making a funny sound • does Marv have a drinking problem? • and on and on — is forgotten in a few weeks, months, or years. Why not acknowledge that it's unimportant, even as it's happening?

Think about the big picture, more than the individual pixels, and that's all that 'today' is — a single pixel looming so close it seems like it's everything.

Caring more about what matters and less about what doesn't has helped make the last half of my life better than the first half.

News you need,
whether you know it or not

Millions snap up new Germany-wide public transit ticket 

Public transit companies in Germany say more than 3 million people have already snapped up a new ticket being launched Monday that allows them to use all local and regional trains, buses and metros across the country for 49 euros ($53.90) a month.

Give people an option other than driving, and a lot of them choose not to drive. And jeez, that price — $54 a month? That's about half what I pay for my monthly bus and train pass, just for getting around in Seattle. 

Officer who held back crowd during George Floyd’s murder convicted of aiding and abetting manslaughter 

A rare glimpse of accountability, made possible only because Floyd died on camera. Without the camera, it never would've made the news.

Microsoft broke a Chrome feature to promote its Edge Browser 

Film studios lose bid to unmask Reddit users who wrote comments on piracy 

Pornhub says no more porn for folks in Utah (unless they know how to use a VPN) 

Epstein met with CIA chief, ex-White House counsel, and Noam Chomsky, among others 

"Insurance retreat – when insurers refuse to take on the risk of covering homes in risky areas – is coming and may be here already 

Latest IPCC report predicts dismal consequences for global agriculture due to climate change 

"As the bee population dwindles, climate change will become even worse" 

California redwoods suffering from effects of climate change-fueled weather whiplash 

Deadly heat waves threaten older people as summer nears 

Current vehicle emission standards will not mitigate climate change or improve air quality 

Rather than regulate guns, Texas seeks to teach battlefield trauma care beginning in the third grade 

Survey: Anti-LGBTQ legislation takes alarming mental-health toll on queer youth 

Oklahoma Republicans complain that anti-woke Superintendent is too busy being anti-woke 

Bill would allow 14-year-olds to serve alcohol in Wisconsin 

CNN announces "town hall" with Trump 

Texas Governor calls mass shooting victims "illegal immigrants" 

Mystery links
There's no knowing where you're going


My browser history
without the porn

One of the last Negro League ballparks has been saved 

"Look for the Union Label": A history of the ILGWU's iconic jingle 

How Jeopardy screwed over a five-time winner 

Junk food ads trigger positive emotions, healthy foods not so much 

Local news is more and more just big-money propaganda

♫♬  It don't mean a thing  ♫
if it don't have that swing

Baby It's You — Smith 

Deep Purple — Nino Tempo & April Stevens 

Don't Do Pharmaceuticals — Luther Wright & the Wrongs 

Hold My Hand — Lady Gaga 

Some Misunderstanding — Gene Clark 

Eventually, everyone
leaves the building

Bruce Haigh 

Wee Willie Harris 

Gordon Lightfoot 

Roy Saltman 

"Last Call" Lance Ten Broeck 

John Underwood 


Cranky Old Fart is annoyed and complains and very occasionally offers a kindness, along with anything off the internet that's made me smile or snarl. All opinions fresh from my ass. Top illustration by Jeff Meyer. Click any image to enlarge. Comments & conversations invited.  

Tip 'o the hat to ye olde AVA, BoingBoing, Breakfast at Ralf's, CaptCreate's Log, Dumnezero, Katameme, Looking for My Perfect Sandwich, One Finger Medical, Two Finger Magical, Miss Miriam's Mirror, Nebulously Burnished, RanPrieur.com, Voenix Rising, and anywhere else I've stolen links, illustrations, or inspiration. 

Special thanks to Linden Arden, Becky Jo, Wynn Bruce, Joey Jo Jo, John the Basket, Dave S, Name Withheld, and always extra special thanks to my lovely late Stephanie, who gave me 21 years and proved that the world isn't always shitty.


  1. Thanks for the "Last Call" Lance Ten Broeck obit. Lance and his buddies The Mex and Chi Chi established golf as a blue collar game and the white collar boys have been trying to get it back ever since.


    1. One of the few golfers I've ever been aware of. Seemed like a character.

  2. I suppose it couldn't possibly matter, but when sister/brother act April Stevens & Nino Tempo hit the big time with Deep Purple in 1963, they were identified as "April Stevens And Nino Tempo" on AM radio and on the Top 50/Top 40 weekly handouts available at record stores. April got top billing. I see that across the Web today they are almost universally identified with Nino's name first. That's not the way it was when they sprang out of Niagara Falls, New York and captured Americas heart just before the Beatles stole it back.


    1. That's intriguing. Sexism? Did Nino Tempo eventually have a more successful career? Of the two, he's the one I'd heard of before reading the obituary, though of course I'd heard "Deep Purple" and "Teach Me Tiger."

    2. It's a tough racket as Pancho Gonzales said. Nino probably did the majority of the writing, but I don't know much more than that. At some point after 1963 the names flipped. I'd note that Mr. Gonzales learned to play tennis with a 51 cent racket. I'd caution you, Doug, not to go into the music business or the tennis business. Both are hostile rackets. If you get really good, they're racquets, but you're still better off on Fantasy Island. Just a piece of advice. Call it "professional courtesy".


    3. The tennis racquet. Ouch. But really, a racquet he bought for 51¢? Can't tell if you're stringing me along...

    4. This one isn't from an esoteric source. It's in Pancho's Wikipedia article.


    5. I've got a Wikipedia page, from my guitar-playing days.

    6. So I guess you and Pancho
      Were both stringing and restringing
      Before the taking of toast and tea


  3. Before I got all tangled up in string theory, I was checking on Nino Tempo. He was probably rightly put first. He was a serious musician in both pop and jazz. He was a bit of a prodigy, and he's still with us at 88. He seems to be retired. I'm just tired.


    1. If you're tired often enough, you could say you're retired. It's the only retirement I'll ever know.


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